Drunk suitor bought shots for man’s wife, stole his cigarettes then bit off his ear
Michael Williams had been drinking heavily when he approached Clare Hartley and gave her two shots while her husband was in the toilet – before a vicious brawl broke out between the men
A self-employed carpenter bit off a man’s earlobe in “self-defense” after inciting a bar fight by buying drinks for his victim’s wife and then walking away with his cigarettes.
Michael Williams appeared at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday to hear his fate at the outbreak of violence at Halfway House in Runcorn on Friday September 24 last year.
Anna Price, prosecutor, recounted how Williams was drinking in the alehouse when, around 9pm, he offered to buy drinks for another suitor, Clare Hartley, whose husband Phillip had jumped off the table to use the toilet.
Williams brought over four shots: two each for himself and Mrs. Hartley, and they finished them and he left.
The 38-year-old returned a short time later and goaded Mr Hartley, telling him to “cheer up and get a haircut”. Liverpool echo reports.
Williams, who Mr. Hartley thought was trying to “entertain his wife,” then “helped himself to a couple of his cigarettes and walked away.”
Mr. Hartley followed him to the bar, followed by his wife and a friend.
The aggrieved husband “slapped” Williams, prompting the boyfriend and a bartender to try to break them up.
Williams retaliated by picking up a chair and attempting to hit Mr. Hartley with it, who in turn grabbed him as they “landed on the floor.”
Ms Price said: “While wrestling on the floor, the defendant bit his earlobe, causing it to tear off.”
Williams went and waited outside, and a few minutes later, Mr. Hartley appeared and threw another punch, pulling Williams into a wall where the argument continued before Williams managed to wriggle free.
Ms Hartley attempted to “interfere” but was pulled away and Mr Hartley was dragged away from the defendant.
Police took part in the brawl and procured CCTV both inside and outside the premises.
Williams had been drinking so much alcohol that he was still over the limit when he was caught driving to work the next day, leading to a binge drinking conviction.
Although medics were unable to reattach Mr Hartley’s earlobe to the 3cm tear, they completed what Judge Simon Berkson called an “impressive reconstruction”.
Williams suffered bruises, scrapes and swelling from the brawl, which are classified as “minor injuries.”
When he was questioned by officials Cheshire PoliceHe said he couldn’t remember what happened but someone told him he had taken a few cigarettes, “consumed a significant amount of alcohol” and had been “attacked”.
Williams had four convictions for four felonies, including a public order affair 20 years ago and drunk driving the day after the ear bite.
Williams, of Brookfield Avenue, Runcorn, pleaded guilty to one wound under Section 20 in Chester Crown Court on May 9 for acting in “excessive self-defense,” for which he “apologizes.”
Judge Berkson told Callum Ross, who defended himself, that he had read the prejudice and GP reports and was struck by how Williams “appeared to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder” as a result of the fight, even though he was “the one who took the cigarettes.” . and caused the problems that led to him using violence against Mr. Hartley.”
Mr Ross pleaded “strong personal mitigation” for his client’s guilty plea, his “sincere remorse”, “good character for 20 years” and his “broadly positive prejudice report” in which he said Williams “can be rehabilitated”.
Noting the basis of the plea for excessive self-defense, he said Williams was “beaten first.”
Mr Ross added Williams is a self-employed carpenter who “makes a positive and productive contribution to society” with a “long and positive work history”, so much so that a colleague at the public gallery was present in court to support him .
Mr Ross said Williams was subject to a long driving ban and was the “main breadwinner” for his wife and two children and reduced his drinking to social events where his wife was present to “keep an eye on him”.
Judge Berkson sentenced Williams to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work and an order to pay Mr Hartley £500 in damages plus £250 in prosecution costs and surcharges.
Tears flowed in the stands as the verdict was announced.
Judge Berkson told Williams: “You were so drunk at Halfway House in Runcorn that the next morning on your morning commute you were well over the legal driving limit.
“In that state in that pub the night before, you chose to act in a way that was highly provocative to Phillip and Clare Hartley.
“You cannot tell us why you did this, as you have no real memory of events.
“It got Mr. and Mrs. Hartley upset about what you had done and they tried to talk to you and then you were attacked by Mr. Hartley.
“Your reaction to this was to bite his ear so hard that you bit off a large part of the earlobe.”
Regarding Williams’ character references, Judge Berkson said, “It’s pretty obvious that this was out of character.”
No one else was prosecuted for the fight.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/drunk-punter-bought-shots-mans-27307195 Drunk suitor bought shots for man's wife, stole his cigarettes then bit off his ear